Jan. 19, 2006
St. Petersburg, Fla. – Former Florida State head cross country coach John Brogle passed away on Sunday, January 15, 2006, in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla., at the age of 61. Brogle led the FSU men’s cross country team to an all-time best team finish of eighth place at nationals and was an assistant in 1981 when the FSU track team took a program-best, third-place on the podium at nationals.
“For me John Brogle was a mentor,” said current head coach Bob Braman. “When I first started coaching at USF, he was widely considered one of the best distances coaches in the state of Florida and the country. FSU and John Brogle made for a model academic and running program, especially around the state, because he built it on runners from Florida. He was a very gracious person and very giving of his time.”
When former Seminole head track coach Dick Roberts was hired in 1977, Brogle joined his staff, taking over the cross country program and the distance group on the track. In five seasons as head cross country coach, his teams won three Metro Conference Championships and Brogle was named Metro Conference Coach of the Year in 1979.
“As I think back on John Brogle’s career as an athlete and a coach and an associate,” said Roberts, a longtime friend. “He brought to the table, in everything that he did, a work ethic and a dedication to the effort that inspired everybody around him to want to succeed.”
Brogle came to FSU as a student-athlete after a standout career at St. Petersburg Junior College. He served as team captain in 1966 and set the FSU school record in the 880 yard run and anchor leg of a record-setting, two-mile relay team. He obtained his degree in physical education before returning to south Florida to start his coaching career at Clearwater’s Oak Grove Junior High School. He took over the reins at St. Petersburg Catholic High School (formerly Bishop Barry) where his cross country teams won the state championships in 1969, 1972, 1973 and 1975. His teams never finished lower than third during his eight-year tenure at the school.
John and his wife Marge, of 39 years, lived overseas for the past twenty years as a part of the US Government’s Department of Defense Schools program, teaching American students whose parents are based abroad. They lived in Okinawa for the past 13 years.
Funeral services will take place on Monday, January 23, 2006 at 10:45 a.m. at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in St. Petersburg, Fla.